The top 10 new Toronto condo developments of 2013
2013 has been another busy year in the Toronto real estate market. With the ongoing debate over the stability of the condo market raging on, one thing remains true, economically and environmentally viable and sustainable housing must be built for our city to continue to grow and function. Although the market as a whole still leaves quite a bit to be desired, these are the projects that brought something a little different to the table over the past year. And, more importantly, these are the projects that got us talking (arguing?) the most.
Here are the top 10 new condo developments from 2013.
SQ despite its Spadina-Queen designation happens to be located in Alexandra Park. And more importantly it signals the first phase of a long overdue facelift and modernization of one of the city's oldest public housing complexes. This Habitat 67-esque mid-rise will give new residents the opportunity to invest in a neighbourhood sure to become quite a bit more livable post renovations. The enclave has suffered from poor planning for a long time, but so far this looks to be a step in the right direction for a neghbourhood so perfectly located for greatness.
Aqualina Bayside Condos
It may be too early to tell how this one will turn out, but this extremely underused section of Queens Quay East has long been overdue for an injection of life. With work going on all around this area by Waterfront Toronto, the new George Brown Campus next door, and with various other commercial and residential developments in full swing this area is posed for a new start. Aqualina with its modest 363 units (of the eventual 1,900) is the first residential phase in this specific development and touts its family friendly units, a plethora of amenities, and lots of outdoor space.
Smart House Condos
If you thought your apartment was cramped, this latest Queen West Condo has taken things to the next level with its ergonomic twist on micro sized living. This minimalist tower just West of University will offer units starting around 289 sq ft. And with options like a bed that transforms into a desk and folds into the wall, extendable countertops, and hidden storage throughout you are promised endless hours of fun trying to control it all with the companion smart phone app.
Garrison Point Condos
Garrison Point is another score in the good looking category, but it mostly makes it on this list because of the sheer scale of the project and the effect it may have on this huge parcel of mostly vacant and inaccessible land. Like most projects we review, there is always the chance things won't turn out as predicted, especially with such a large area getting an overhaul. But the developers seem to be making a bit more effort off the bat than we've seen go into similar "master-planned" areas like Liberty Village or Cityplace.
Ten York Condos
This might be a controversial pick for now, but in the long run this high density neighbourhood south of Union Station will no doubt absorb the thousands of new residents in this building, and more (see: 1 Yonge, Ice Condos, Harbour Plaza). There's a good chance a great deal of the new residents in this 65 storey tower will work downtown, and walk to work or use the country's biggest transit hub just a few blocks north of here. The concerns about overcrowded aren't entirely unfounded but in a neighbourhood that is sure to continue to grow, there could be way worse things to replace this tired surface parking lot.
Yonge + Rich Condos
Even with the extremely unfortunate name (EXTREMELY!), details so far suggest that you neither need to be "young" nor rich to live here. With this undeniably attractive location you can expect a really decent commute plus some above average balcony sizes and numerous garden terraces.
River City Phase 3
This building might look like it just survived a modernist earthquake or that someone forgot to push the dresser drawers back in, but this surprisingly interesting third phase in one the most popular east side developments stands to set a new tone for design in this developing area. The transformation of the West Don Lands along with a few other East side projects have so far shown some pretty standard architecture. So this uncouth building should hopefully send this easterly neighbourhood in a better direction than some other less than appealing areas.
Soon to hit the heart of the Junction, Duke is important for a few reasons. One, in a neighbourhood relatively new to condo development the first few projects tend to set the tone for the flood that inevitably follows. Duke in this case seems to be the right project to do it. Quite a few other neighbourhoods have taken the "bullet" in this learning process. But with Duke's emphasis on a modest size, simple design, and varied units it's not the worst way to get things going in this now thriving creative enclave.
383 Sorauren Condos
This may not be the most exciting or flashy project going, but that is really 383's strength. Located in the west end neighbourhood of Roncesvalles, this building brings some much needed housing options for those who enjoy this area's unique character, family friendly atmosphere and fairly decent transit and don't want to buy an entire house. This sort of reasonably sized building is something that the city needs more of in many neighbourhoods.
1 Yorkville Condos
In a city plagued by half-hearted architecture, green glass and often overly trendy design, there's a big reason to celebrate a good design. However you may feel about another luxury tower shoving its way into the Yorkville area, it's hard to complain about a design that seems to go way beyond most of its neighbours. The 58 storey tower with its promise of a constantly changing exterior should prove a welcome sight to those who frequent the area, and possibly anger a few window washers in the process.
What was your favourite condo development of 2013?